continued from last week
Corruption breeds cronyism, specially monopoly, which leads people to desperation because price are controlled by a few to say the last and automatically promotes high prices even for basic needs – including food (e.g a kilo or sugar doubled in price in two years, bread and cheese similarly), without mentioning the basic needs of household, particularly heating, and the rates are exorbitant, now that winter is on the threshold, families are worried as to how they will warm their homes.
Meanwhile, the salaries remain the same, and if they are raised, they are raised so little that it would not make a difference. Unemployment is getting higher and higher and thus poverty will be augmented. all these lead people to thinking on leaving the country for greener pastures – Russia seems to be the most enviable place because the Russian government actually is promoting immigration into Russia by providing jobs, homes, transportation and citizenship. Several engineers from the Metsamor Nuclear Plant are working in other countries for triple their salaries.
The President, in his speech in Beverly Hills this year, spoke about emigration and spoke very clearly and hoped that a remedy will be found to stop or slow down the emigration.
Of course, these shortcomings in Armenia cannot be remedied overnight, nor can they eliminated entirely, but serious and planned efforts should be undertaken by the government to alleviate a large percent of these endemic problems. We need introspective thinking and powerful medicine for the accurately diagnosed ills, otherwise rancor and anger will be fostered. The President asked for open discussion and that’s what we are doing. He suggested to work with the Diaspora on these issues. All countries have similar problems (that’s not an excuse), including the US, but the culprits are punished and changes are made.
Despite all these, there are several positive improvements in Armenia.
Just to point out a few examples: external trade turnover during the past nine months was $525.3 million, an increase of 26.7%; industrial production was $740.8 million, an increase of 9.6%; agriculture growth registered 18.6%; brandy production increased 17%; maternal mortality is down; malaria is completely wiped out; Armenia is ahead of its neighbors in the the UN welfare ranking, and others too, but all these do not justify the negative developments which are forcing people to emigrate. these ills could be cured if we have the will and foresight since we are living in a daunting period.
The President said: “I do not even marginally doubt our ability to find the necessary solutions.”
We expect and hope that the new decade will show signs of improvements